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Sunday, December 21 2014 @ 07:04 AM EST

Judicial Documents Stolen In Massive Drug Trafficking Case

Drug Trafficking By Jose Vasquez for La Critica - Panama's First Anti Drug Prosecutor, Javier Caraballo, denounced yesterday, Monday, the theft of supporting documents that were to be used to appeal a lower court ruling that freed 77 people who were being investigated and prosecuted as part of an operation dubbed "Ley Patriótica" in Chiriquí. Caraballo said two officials from the Public Ministry traveled to the province of Chiriqui and stayed at the Hotel Castilla, and on Friday one of the officials realized a theft had occurred in his room. Besides the legal documents, the thieves also took some personal belongings. What's more, "the officials received threats via telephone received at the hotel and at the offices of the Anti Drug Prosecutor in Panama and in Chiriquí," said Carballo. The prosecutor said he is awaiting the publication of the summary order to be issued by the Tenth Court, Criminal Division, by Judge María De Los Ángeles De Gracia, in order to present the Drug Prosecutor's Office formal appeal of the ruling. Carballo said the Drug Prosecutor's Office will not succumb to threats, that they will present and support the appeal as planned, and they will assert the position of the Attorney General on appeal and to the Supreme Court if necessary. He added that investigations will be necessary to shed light on the theft perpetrated against the official from the Anti Drug Prosecutor's Office, and to find the person or persons responsible for the threats that are being made through telephone calls. The First Anti Drug Prosecutor is in Chiriqui preparing the appeal document to be submitted to the Tenth Court, Criminal Branch. Ruling - 77 People Set Free - A ruling by judge María de Los Ángeles De Gracia freed 77 people who had been accused of money laundering, drug trafficking, and conspiracy to commit crime. The investigations began on 17 November 2007. (See Comments)

Editor's Comment: Panama still uses and "inquisition" system of justice that's slow, bureaucratic, inefficient, and costly. Everything is done on paper. The "case file" has to be physically hauled around to any office that needs to make a decision on any part of the case. For example, if a prosecutor has to be notified of a decision by the judge in the case, then the file has to be physically taken from the court house to the prosecutor's office, it stays there while the prosecutor is reviewing the file and signing off on the document, and then it gets hauled back. Just getting a single signature from one dude can take a month. Panama is trying to convert their justice system to the "accusatory" style like what is used in the United States. Everything is done verbally and the documents are only drawn up to document what happened in court. It's a much faster system, but more costly to run and operate. Anyway, this case of the stolen legal documents is another example of why Panama should do away with the system they are using now. And, you can bet there were "one of a kind" documents in those files that simply cannot be replaced.

Hurtan documentos

José Vásquez | Chiriquí, Crítica en Línea

En este hotel se hospedó el funcionario y en el cual supuestamente le robaron (Foto: José Vásquez / EPASA)

El fiscal Primero de Drogas en Panamá, Javier Caraballo, denunció ayer, lunes, el hurto de documentos de soporte que serían utilizados en la apelación al fallo judicial que dejó en libertad a los 77 personas que fueron investigados y procesados en el operativo "Ley patriótica", en Chiriquí.

Caraballo señaló que dos funcionarios de su despacho viajaron la semana pasada a la provincia de Chiriquí y se hospedaron en el "Hotel Castilla", y el pasado viernes uno de los funcionarios se percató que había sido objeto de un hurto en su habitación. Entre lo sustraído están los documentos y prendas personales.

Además, "los funcionarios están siendo objetos de amenazas a través de llamadas telefónicas que se han recibido en el hotel y en las oficinas de la Fiscalía de Drogas en Panamá y Chiriquí", aseguró el fiscal Carballo.

El Fiscal dijo que se está en la espera de la publicación del auto de calificación del sumario emitido por el Juzgado Décimo, Ramo Penal, a cargo de la juez María De Los Ángeles De Gracia, para que el equipo de la Fiscalía de Drogas presente la apelación formal al fallo.

Carballo aseguró que la Fiscalía de Drogas no va a sucumbir ante las amenazas de las que están siendo objeto, y van a sustentar de manera debida el recurso de apelación, y van hacer valer la posición del Ministerio Público en segunda instancia o a través de un recurso de casación.

Añadió que se harán las investigaciones necesarias que permitan esclarecer el hurto del que fue objeto un funcionario de la Fiscalía de Drogas y dar con el o los responsables de las amenazas que se están efectuando a través de las llamadas telefónicas.

El Fiscal Primero de Drogas se encuentra en la provincia de Chiriquí preparando el documento de apelación que será presentado ante el Juzgado Décimo, Ramo Penal.

FALLO: 77 SOBRESEIMIENTO En un fallo de la jueza María de Los Ángeles De Gracia dio sobreseimiento a las 77 personas acusadas de blanqueo, narcotráfico y asociación ilícita para delinquir. Las investigaciones iniciaron el 17 de noviembre del 2007.

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Judicial Documents Stolen In Massive Drug Trafficking Case | 1 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Judicial Documents Stolen In Massive Drug Trafficking Case
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 25 2009 @ 02:03 PM EDT

I can't believe the don't simply have a central document repository. They check a document in, certify it as being the original, then issue as many copies as needed. Should a working copy be lost, stolen, or destoyed, simply check out a new one.

When I was in the Navy, I worked in Quality Assurance on repairs on nuclear Submarines. The project manager had to lug around huge files all the time. If I issued a repair part, they would have to bring the file to me, whereby I would add more documentation to the massive file. It was a horrific system and caued a lot of delays.